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O.C. emergency center needs repairs, report says

May 07, 2008|David Reyes | Times Staff Writer

Orange County's Emergency Operations Center, its nerve center during such disasters as October's wildfires, needs renovation or it may find itself a victim of a disaster, according to a grand jury report released Tuesday.

Backup power is inadequate, the sewer system can be overloaded, and smoke wafted in during the fires, prompting people to wear breathing masks, the report said.

The grand jury recommended that the county sheriff install an air filtration system before the 2009 fire season and seek additional funding from the Board of Supervisors for sewer improvements.

Assistant Sheriff J.B. Davis, who is in charge of the facility, said the department was reviewing the report.

"Public safety and the health of our employees and staff who man the Emergency Operations Center is our highest priority," Davis said in a prepared statement. "We are confident that neither public safety nor the health of our staff is in jeopardy at this time."

Davis said the department would reply to the findings.

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david.reyes@latimes.com

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